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Migrating to Cloudflare (Dallas P2P clients)

Engaging Networks is migrating its infrastructure through the Cloudflare network. This is a service that allows us to enable new security protocols for our clients, and utilise closer monitoring of web traffic through the domains you use with Engaging Networks.

While previously we’ve used our own SSL certificates and those provided by you to protect your domains, integration with Cloudflare now means that we can further streamline this process by simply providing a DNS record for you to point your domain at. Cloudflare then manages SSL encryption of traffic through its servers automatically, which means no more certificate renewals need to be managed between us and you once this DNS record is set. We’ll be starting this migration with clients using our Dallas data centre from May/June 2021.

 

 If we’ve reached out to you about updating your domain, the first thing you’ll need to do is access the DNS for your domain and delete the A record you’re currently pointing at our servers. We’ll have let you know which domain this is and the IP address it will be pointed at, but typically this record will look something like this (where the example subdomain is fundraise.yourdomain.org):

A record

Immediately after deleting this record, you’ll need to create a CNAME for your subdomain in the A record’s place with the value us-p2p.engagingnetworks.app, as here:

CNAME record

 

Important notes on downtime

As you’re having to first remove an A record for your subdomain, and then replace it as a CNAME – because your registrar will not allow both record types for the same domain simultaneously – there will be some downtime incurred for your pages using this domain while these record changes propagate. The extent of that downtime will vary from one registrar to the other depending on the TTL setting that’s used for your DNS records (for more information on that, please reach out to your registrar’s support), however during our initial tests we’ve found that downtime usually doesn’t exceed 5-10 minutes for most registrars.

However, this is why it’s so important that your new CNAME record is added immediately after your A record is removed. We’d also strongly recommend making this update at an off-peak time for your pages, when traffic is at a minimum, to minimise any downtime experienced by your supporters.

 

Testing that your pages are authenticated

In order to test that the set-up is working once your DNS records have propagated, please load one of your Engaging Networks pages using your domain in a browser and locate the certificate details from the padlock icon in your address bar, as here for example:

Padlock icon

 

From here you’ll be presented with a window showing your certificate details, which should now be issued by Cloudflare as here:

 

Certificate details

 

If, for whatever reason, you find this not to be the case then please revert back to your previous A record. This will point your domain back at our Dallas server directly, where your original certificate will still reside. Please then reach out to Josh on the contact details below for more details:

Josh Miller – josh@engagingnetworks.community

Updated on June 8, 2021

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